North American Aerospace Defense Command said its aircraft intercepted two
The Russian aircraft were escorted the entire duration of the flight in the ADIZ by NORAD’s F-22s and CF-18s, which were supported by a KC-135 Stratotanker and E-3 Sentry aircraft, a news release detailed.
The Russian aircraft never entered U.S. or Canadian airspace and remained over the Beaufort Sea, NORAD said in a release.
“NORAD continues to operate in the Arctic across multiple domains,” Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, the commander of NORAD said in the release. “As we continue to conduct exercises and operations in the north, we are driven by a single unyielding priority: defending the homelands.”
Intercepts of Russian aircraft have been a contentious issue between NATO and Russia, especially as tensions with Moscow remain strained over Russia’s support to separatists in east Ukraine and its aggressive actions countering Turkey in Idlib province, Syria.
While alarming, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe and commander of U.S. European Command, U.S. Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters said in June 2019 unsafe intercepts between NATO and Russian aircraft have decreased over the past two years, and are in most cases safe.